Right on the edge of gorgeous Manitou Springs lies an ascending beast known as the Incline. In essence, the incline is merely a really long stretch of railroad ties, but for a couple decades now, the locals have been walking up and down it like a staircase. Coupled with the altitude, the brutal angle it’s set on, and the fact that it ascends over 2,000 feet into the sky, it presents a pretty intimidating challenge. It climbs alongside Barr Trail, the path that leads directly to the top of one of Colorado’s most famous 14’ers, Pikes Peak. While this may not be for the weak at heart, all it takes is determination. And for those who feel they have bitten off a bit more than they can chew, there is a point halfway up that people can revert to Barr Trail either to go back down to the parking lot or continue their climb on a much longer yet easier trail. But I can assure you, reaching the top of the Incline is one the most rewarding experiences out there. Not only have you burned roughly 700 calories, but the sense of accomplishment is a feeling that few other challenges can deliver. And on top of that, the view over Manitou Springs from the side of the mountain is absolutely amazing, especially in Autumn when the aspen leaves are just turning yellow. No matter who you are, or what you do for a living., the Manitou Springs Incline definitely belongs on every bucket list.
How to get there:
Take 24 West, exit “Manitou Springs”,follow signs to Pikes Peak Cog Railway – basically take a left at the round about. Drive up, passing the Cog Railway Station, until you see the sign pointing to the right and UP! Drive up the steep path and park (don’t forget to pay). Don’t go up the Barr Trail – there is a side path – to go up. Just ask someone. They’ll be happy to tell you.
Chances are that the parking lot is packed. Depending on when you get there.
It’s so worth it.
PS: How do you get down? Follow the crowd! (once you come up, look to your left and you’ll see a well worn path. Follow that if there isn’t a crowd – which I can’t imagine)